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Fully Informed Jury Association
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Consult your conscience.
Consult your conscience.

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Magna Carta Day is the perfect opportunity to revisit the below article from Larry Reed of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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HUGE BREAKING NEWS FROM THE SUPREME COURT THIS MORNING! On a 7-1 vote, the Supreme Court reversed in the case of Foster v. Chatman, with the court agreeing that the conviction was delivered by a jury that was racially rigged by the prosecution in violation of Batson v. Kentucky. Majority opinion is below.

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What is the "trial tax"? Why do even innocent people sometimes take plea bargains? What is prosecutor nullification? I got into the details of all of these things and more on The Tatiana Show. -KIrsten

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Thanks to last summer's FIJA Fellow Nathan Goodman for finding this #ThrowbackThursday item that I have transcribed, added some additional notes to, and added to the Library on the FIJA website. This is an 1895 article in favor of jury nullification, written by an attorney who was Clarence Darrow's law partner for more than a decade. Despite being written more than 100 years ago, it is relevant and hauntingly familiar still today.

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A few comments on #jurynullification from noted criminal defense and civil rights attorney Norm Pattis, in his recent article arguing against laws fining jurors for using social media:
"Jury nullification is not inconsistent with republican principals. Permitting jurors to decide both law and facts could well foster a broader sense of legitimacy. Jurors grumble when told they must follow rules imposed from on high. Justice is less a decree delivered from on high than a community’s response to the felt necessity of a case."

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"The Supreme Court docket lists the case as being "distributed for conference" starting on Thursday, meaning the justice's [sic] are scheduled to discuss it an [sic] decide its merits...

And he's banking on Justice Sonia Sotomayor to be one because she made favorable comments earlier this year about jury nullification, another point Forchion argues in the case.

Jury nullification is when a jury votes not guilty even though a defendant is guilty of a crime because they believe the law is unjust. Forchion wanted to be able to argue that in the Burlington case, but was prevented from doing so, his petition says."

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Still have not solved the flicker in the edited video footage we shot on the recent FIJA road trip. My apologies! I continue to try and troubleshoot this. It's not appearing in the raw footage, but seems to come in during editing. Anyway, this second talk from our panel on Juries and Jury Nullification in Law and Practice was by Paul Grant, particularly notable in #jurynullification circles as Laura Kriho's attorney. If you haven't heard of her case, now's your chance!

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Professional jurors replacing lay jurors in government trials are a HORRIBLE idea.

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I love it when former prosecutors become advocates of #jurynullification! Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler covers the basics here and makes the case for jury nullification as a tool to push back against racism in the legal system

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#JuryNullification advocate and cannabis legalization activist NJ Weedman was arrested last week after government raided his restaurant and an adjoining church. He is charged with several victimless offenses, many of which he says are government exaggerations. “I’m a proponent of jury nullification and I’m going to take this to trial,” he says.
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